Friday, September 06, 2019

Digital Is Coming for Your Textbook

I did an interview with CCC's Beyond the Book podcast talking about digital textbooks.

Here is the link:

And from the summary:
In July, Pearson announced it would end the longstanding practice among textbook publishers of revising all active titles every three years according to a printing schedule. Instead, the British-based education publisher will employ a digital-first discipline for its publishing program. As textbooks give way to courseware, publishers will be looking for an education in 21st century business models.
Publishing analyst and Michael Cairns recently examined the latest developments in the creation, sourcing, and delivery of textbooks. Administrators, instructors, and students, says Cairns, will increasingly demand all-inclusive and unlimited access to online educational materials (think, Netflix for textbooks). Such an all-access model naturally favors global players who already have won prominent positions in university library systems. Meanwhile, a fight looms over control of usage data.
“It’s long been prophesized that the print textbook would disappear, but it’s actually taken quite a bit longer than I think people would have anticipated, especially when you look at the growth of eBooks on the trade side, or if you look at the transition from print journals to online databases that has taken place over the last 20 years now,” notes Cairns.
“As it turned out, the textbook is a very, very reliable medium to educate students and to facilitate the distribution of content to students. They like the package that it’s in – the functionally works very, very well for students,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.
“But I think what we’re starting to see now is that more and more content, generally, is available, and students are starting to be much, much more comfortable with it in electronic from. And the products are starting to get better in online from versus what might have existed previously as printed material.”

This interview grew out of my earlier education post:

Read more articles on my Flipboard magazine:


Are you considering an investment in new technology?  Check out my report on software and services providers.  (PubTech Report)
Michael Cairns is a business strategy consultant and executive.  He can be reached at or (908) 938 4889 for project work or executive roles.

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